Is the U.S. Ripe for Tyranny?
In a stirring piece for Crisis Magazine, Fr. James V. Schall, professor of political science at Georgetown University, writes that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between America’s governance today and King George’s rule over the colonies.
Fr. Schall points to a recurring thesis of Plato and Aristotle, which is that a tyrant arises out of a democracy when the citizens have little or no inner principle of order other than what they will for themselves. The tyrant becomes the “leader of the people” and, finally, their master. He leaves it up to the reader as to when we’ve reached that point.
Reflecting now on the Fourth of July 2012, we have to wonder about a regime now manifesting a growing list of abuses to the fundamental nature of human worth. These abuses are put into effect by elected rulers themselves. They are accepted by many citizens who themselves are “democratic” in the classic Greek sense, that in their soul they have little principle of order.
Hence, they have no reason to object to anything on any other basis than that of personal whim or want. The term “unconstitutional” is meaningless. This situation is not a far cry from that list found in the Declaration. In describing these abuses, it read: “He (the King) has made Judges dependent on his Will alone.” “He has refused to assent to Laws.” And “He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution.”
Constitutional rule derives from a people who understand the nature and demands of the virtues and their relation to our final end. It is aware of an order transcendent to politics. Arbitrary rule arises when a leader, seeing that the people have no real order of soul, sees himself able to impose whatever form of rule that he thinks good for the people. Unless they acquiesce in this rule and its decrees, they are no longer citizens, whatever a written Constitution might say.
In 2012, when we read the Declaration of Independence and its appeal to the judgment of mankind, it seems more addressed to our own government rather than to the British Crown.
Read the entire piece at Crisis Magazine: www.crisismagazine.com/2012/the-duty-to-throw-off-such-government